Picnic here. At least on Monday the lot on East Spring Street is starting to fill up.
When I was a kid I picked black berries and dewberries to sell so I would have money for the Picnic.
I don’t remember the price – maybe a dollar or dollar and a quarter a gallon and two legs full of scratches, ticks and chiggers.
This year I don’t know where there are any vines. Sort of like quail – there aren’t any.
I used to know where there were eight covies on Dad’s farm and about what time they’d be there. One was usually at a clearing in the timber at noon. Once I took a guy there. I think he was an older brother of Albert (Bob) Stebbins. My dog set and the guy flushed the birds. He shot once with his Ithica 12 ga. I remember the clear orange front sight. King retrieved five birds, the most I’ve ever seen killed with one shot.
King was February pup, a gift when I was a freshman from Ron Hubbard who hunted on our land. Ron’s female was Queen so I got creative I thought and named her pup King,
Spent a lot of time with my dog. I’d stand in the shade of the house on a hot summer day, throw a cloth covered stick into the sun and tell King “dead bird.” He’d go get it and come back to me in the shade.
Got to where I’d hide his eyes, throw the stick and tell him “Dead bird,” then he’d look at me and I’d point to the stick. I’d hide his eyes, throw a ball as far as could throw it, then tell him “Dead Bird.” I would give him directions until he found it.
We would go into the hog lot where I’d select a corn cob, hide his eyes and pitch the cob into the jumble of corn cobs then uncover his eyes nd tell him “Deaf bird.” He’d always pick out and return the cob I had touched.
Sometimes on a rainy day, we’d climb up into the barn loft, make us a nest in the hay, snuggle up and watch it rain.
King became a fantastic quail dog.
Once King and I went quail hunting on my Uncle Cleo’s farm down by Horse Creek with my Ag Teacher, Ralph Sommerer, and Dr. Bill Neale and his two setters. (King was a pointer.) Don’t remember much about the hunt except it was a damp day. King set on a clump of fescue. We repeatedly kicked that clump of fescue expecting the bird to flush. Finally I said, “OK King. Get ‘im.” King reached down, picked up the quail and handed it to me.
I pulled its head off, fed it King and put the bird in my vest improving my average.
Ron Hubbard hunted with a 20 ga. He could shoot a quail before it really got started. He told me he talked to a guy who hunted with a four ten. He said the guy told him he counted up and at the end the season, he’d killed 500 birds.
-If you hear somebody call it “The Founders Day Picnic” or they put it on a poster or ad, you’ll know they are not a native. It’s just “The Picnic” or “The El Dorado Picnic,” plain and simple.
– I may see you at the Picnic. Don’t know if I can take the heat. Back when I could pick 20 gallons of black berries and haul square bales to the barn, heat was not an issue. KL